PNGO organizes a workshop to present a study on international Funding data for Palestine (2017-2021)


A study issued by the Palestinian NGO's Network “PNGO” confirmed the difficulty of accessing international funding data for Palestine during the period 2017-2021, in addition to the ambiguity and unavailability of data, as well as the reluctance of a large number of donors and their unwillingness to provide researchers with the necessary data to understand what is being funded in Palestine.

The study was prepared by two researchers Jeremy Wildman and Dr. Alaa Al-Tartir and was presented in a workshop held by PNGOs Network. Representatives of civil society organizations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank participated in the workshop.

In his opening speech, Tayseer Muhaisen, Vice-Chairman of PNGOs Network's Board, stressed the importance of this study, which provided information about the transparency of funding policies by donors. He pointed out that international funding trends affect the lives of Palestinians in various sectors, as Palestine relies on international funding from multiple sources, a matter that makes some people see this diversity in funding as a subject of questioning, confusion, and a tool of political pressure as well.

He also referred to the impact of the Israeli smear campaigns on the volume of humanitarian and development funding directed to some local institutions.

Dr. Alaa Tartir, the co-author of the study and the program advisor at the Palestinian Policy Network, stressed the need for all Palestinian sectors to know funding, its references, sources, and who finances what? how much is spent? sovereign interests of funding, and public welfare. He indicated that knowing these basic facts provides the bases for the starting point for effective development aid.

Dr. Tartir pointed out that despite the spending of more than $45 billion from 1993 until today by donors to support the so-called peace process with the Israeli occupation, this spending was accompanied by a sharp decline in the well-being, economic independence, and autonomy of the Palestinians. Accordingly, the importance of the study emerges by analyzing the amount of funding and how it is spent, and knowing whether it met the actual Palestinian needs or not.

Dr. Tartir presented the methods used by the researchers in collecting data for the study by contacting donors and their missions directly to obtain information about their funding for aid, through official signed and stamped letters via e-mail from the Palestinian NGOs Network. As well as reviewing donor websites and indexing electronic reports for details of their funding in Palestine followed by extrapolating datasets from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These methods aimed to search for the availability of aid-related data. The study concluded that a small number of donors were willing or able to provide the necessary information to understand what they fund in Palestine and that few of those who were contacted directly via e-mail answered the questions asked, and that less than 30% of the total of 40 donors/sponsors provided some data as not all of the five questions that were asked were answered.

Dr. Al-Tartir pointed out that when browsing the websites of donors, the available information still does not adequately answer in terms of depth or detail that would help in drawing up a map of funding directed to Palestine. Likewise, when reading the data of the OECD, one can say that the information is general and not detailed as well, and that, ironically, “Israel” was found as a sponsor of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which calls into question the credibility of the formulation and collection of these data.

He pointed out that the study revealed a clear lack of aid transparency, which was significantly worse compared to previous similar surveys, which raises questions about the extent of donors' commitment to the effectiveness of aid directed to Palestine, and thus reflects a deeper structural lack of understanding of the nature of the aid that the Palestinians need. In addition to a lack of geographical linkage of funding, there is no detailed information on the areas to which funding has been directed, and if such information exists, it is usually incomplete.

The study finally concluded that the impact of international donors on the Palestinian state and society is great, therefore, the active donors in Palestine must allocate the necessary resources to track information related to the nature of aid directed to the Palestinians. The study also recommended that information related to humanitarian aid should be available in Arabic or English, to enhance access to information by the Palestinian civil society, the government, or those concerned. In its recommendations, the study emphasized the necessity of providing information about donor aid according to its geographical distribution.

By the end of the workshop, the participants recommended the necessity of conducting a dialogue with funders, especially from the European Union countries, to review the roadmap for cooperation with civil society organizations to activate accountability and fulfill their obligations related to supporting humanitarian work and empowering local and national organizations. They also emphasized the need to establish a central database for funding that would be owned by recipients.

          Read the Full Study from here          



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